Despite the rain about 13,000 people came out to greet Pope Francis during his weekly general audience. To start things off, he chatted a bit with fellow Argentinian soccer fans and exchanged his papal hat, not once, but twice. He blessed several babies along the way, but one girl wasn't too excited about the whole experience.
"No, No. She's scared. Look, she's frightened.”
"If I hug her, I'll have to get her a psychiatrist.”
During his catechesis, the Pope talked about ecumenism, especially since the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is currently taking place. He described divisions among Christians as a scandal.
"Our Christian communities still experience divisions and this is a scandal. Division among us is a scandal. There is no other word for it. It's simply a scandal.”
The Pope then explained that Christians from different denominations can learn from one another. What one community lacks, it can find in the other.
"Let's find joy as we recognize the different graces that God has given our fellow Christians. We receive the same Baptism from the Holy Spirit, who gives these graces. Let's recognize this and rejoice.”
Before concluding his general audience, the Pope also made an appeal for peace in Syria. On Wednesday an international Syrian Peace Conference began in Switzerland. The Pope called on governments and civilians to vouch for reconciliation, instead of violence.
"May they see in one another not an enemy, not a competitor, but rather brothers and sisters to welcome and embrace.”
Usually, during this time of year the general audiences are held indoors because of the cold weather. But to accommodate more pilgrims, so far all of them have taken place in St. Peter's Square.